SoNoCC eyed as ‘satellite’ school site for after-school programs

NORWALK, Conn. – It appears that the South Norwalk Community Center is being eyed for after-school programs run in conjunction with Norwalk Public Schools.

“What I want to do is operate at least one and hopefully two satellite after-school centers, learning centers, in the South Norwalk community,” Schools Superintendent Manny Rivera said Tuesday to the Board of Education.

Satellite learning centers are mentioned in Rivera’s PreK-5 Literacy and Comprehensive Plan and Recommendations. He said he is thinking of a Norwalk district called “99.”

“It needs to change,” he said.

There is no home school in South Norwalk, he said.

“So they have to make their choices for a school,” he said, “sometimes – we’re going to change this – after everyone else is placed. Not anymore. We’re going to make sure those families have a right to choose.

“A lot of them have to get on buses and go to schools,” he continued. “Because of that, they don’t necessarily have access to after-school programs that exist at those schools because they get on a bus and they go home. What I want to do is operate at least one and hopefully two satellite after-school centers, learning centers, in the South Norwalk community, and even (on) Saturday mornings. Whether we use a church, a community center, in home neighborhoods to provide easier access for children to come in and continue to learn.”

Former Common Council member and community leader Warren Peña, president of the South Norwalk Community Center (SoNoCC), spoke at the meeting in support of Rivera’s plan.

The achievement gap has narrowed but is still too wide, he said, mentioning Rivera’s goal of closing it by 2020. He advocated for all of Rivera’s 10-point plan to be implemented, including the use of libraries and community centers.

“We might be able to provide some solid after-school programs, Saturday programs. It’s providing some more, obviously, programs, in particular in the area of English in the South Norwalk community,” he said. “… We are pleased, I know, from our perspective, the community center’s perspective, we are pleased to partner with this effort and we look forward to reaching some of these goals by 2020.”


2 responses to “SoNoCC eyed as ‘satellite’ school site for after-school programs”

  1. SoNoCC

    SoNoCC would be very pleased to partner with Norwalk Public Schools and Dr. Rivera in serving as a host site for his after-school and Saturday initiatives for the children of District 99. We share Dr. Rivera’s vision of closing the achievement gap by 2020. SoNoCC had previously announced its plans of transforming our first floor space at the Center into a learning center. A $100,000 federally-funded Community Development Block Grant was awarded to us last year and we have applied for an additional $100,000 in federal funds this year as part of a three-phase, $600,000 Capital Improvements project, labeled “The Renaissance Project”. NO LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING IS INVOLVED. A comprehensive Capital campaign is being launched to solicit the balance of funding through private sources, including foundations, corporations and private donors. We strongly urge the Common Council to approve the use of FEDERAL money to provide the children of District 99 a proper venue for their enhanced learning opportunity here at SoNoCC.

  2. Marjorie M

    Great idea, but will our best teachers agree to teach there? It’s been tried in the past, but teachers didn’t want to travel to teach there. What kind of pay will be offered? I hope it does attract good teachers.

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